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Monday, March 23, 2009

Unaccustomed Earth

Everytime I read a work of Jhumpa Lahiri, I end up sad and depressed for days on end. I thought this plethora of feelings that I go through, had something to do perhaps with my ageing process ;) or to the fact that I empathise a lot and thus create all such trouble for self.But I was kind of relieved on browsing the net for her works, almost all the reviewers admitted to being haunted /daunted on reading her works. I read The Namesake when I was pregnant with Achulde, it did not leave a nice feeling and I decided not too read her work again, atleast for a long time, then.
So when one of my closest buddies, gave 'The Unaccustomed Earth', her latest work, as a gift, I was initially reluctant to even start reading it. But I soon found myself, sitting late into the nite, such a page turner effect the book had.Its a collection of short stories and what is common across the stories is that in each of the story, one of the characters , mostly, the protagonist would have a secret to reveal that would turn out to be the crux of the whole story.And in each story, the secret is brought beautifully , in a unique way, mesmerizing style of writing.She is a skilled writer, enviable indeed, engaging , confident and completely in control.I loved the first one on Ruma and then 'Hema and Kaushik' the best.The latter haunted me for days on end. The only glitch was that , the moment the venue shifted to Thailand and clue was given on the timeline(2004), it suddenly crossed my mind that , Tsunami would become part of the backdrop and it turned out to be right. That was the only time, I found myself out of the book and not engaged/engrossed, the surprise element (if she intended any) was lost.But that didnt reduce the impact of the grief by an iota even. I was saddened and disappointed by the decisions taken by the protagonist(Hema), and somehow I wanted to shake her into making the right decision, all the time knowing and to be honest ,consoling self saying its just a work of fiction!!!
Maybe it was reminding me of one of my best friends, who is now in a very difficult situation in her personal life, and has not been doing anything abt it, I just dont want her to be another Hema. I want her to take control of her life and make things easy for her and others in her life. This is to you girl, hope you reach where you ought to be, where you belong to, pretty pretty soon, touchwood.


UL said...

All your recommendations I have loved, so now I will have to read this, hope things work out for this friend of yours...I am sure it will, things always come round.

Munch said...
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Munch said...

Do give this a try and let me know how you liked it.Have you read any other work of hers?
Yup Laks,touchwood, I hope so too..